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Being a care partner for someone with chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be a big job, and you deserve credit for taking on this important role. You also deserve to take care of yourself while being a care partner. Here are several things that may help you keep your energy up and attitude positive while caring for your loved one. We’ve also included a list of organizations and resources specifically purposed to provide care partners the support they need.
Live a healthful lifestyle – While focusing on the health of your loved one, be sure to remember your own health as well. Good nutrition, exercise and rest may help you better cope with the demands of caregiving.
Take time for yourself – The role of care partner takes a lot of time, but it’s important to squeeze in activities just for you: going for a walk, reading a book, coffee with a friend, etc. Taking time for yourself helps you refuel and maintain a healthy perspective.
Be open and real – No one expects you to shoulder your caregiver role like a superhero. Acknowledge and discuss the difficult aspects of your role with your loved one, your loved one’s doctor, a social worker, a friend, or a clergy member.
Have a support team – Having your own support system can give you a boost in meeting the challenges of being a caregiver and make you feel less alone in your role. Reach out to family and friends for their support, and/or join a support group specifically for care partners.
Consider care-sharing – You don’t have to do it all. Consider training a family member or friend to join you as a care partner for your loved one. Hiring a part-time caregiver may be another option for sharing the responsibility.
Look into respite care – Respite care provides a temporary stay for your loved one at a senior community, assisted-living facility or the like. Whether it’s for a few hours while you run errands, during a vacation, or just for a much-needed break, respite care can be beneficial to both you and your loved one.
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